MedicalIamA Pharma company CEO whose drug just helped save the life of the 4th person in America to ever Survive the Brain Eating Amoeba- a 97% fatal disease. AMA!
Aug 24th 2016 by Profounda-Inc • 30 Questions • 5262 Points
What's up ladies and gents. I'm Stefan and I have been teaching people to control their dreams using 'lucid dreaming' for about a year or so.
I founded the website http://howtolucid.com (It's down right now because there's too much traffic going to it, check back in a day or two) and wrote a handful of books on the subject. Lucid dreaming is the ability to become 'aware' of the fact that you're dreaming WHILE you're in the dream. This means you can control it.
You can control anything in the dream.. What you do, where you go, how it feels etc...You can use it to remove fears from your mind, stop having nightmares, reconnect with lost relatives or friends, and much more.
For proof that I'm actually Stefan, here's a Tweet sent from the HowToLucid company Twitter - https://twitter.com/howtolucid/status/768052997947592704
Also another proof, here is my author page (books I've written about lucid dreaming) - https://www.amazon.com/Stefan-Z/e/B01KACOB20/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1471961461&sr=8-1
Ask me anything!
EDIT 1 - LOTS of people are trying to get onto my site and it's dead! It does work, just try again in a few days when this has stopped being so crazy! INSTEAD please check out my YouTube channel to see more about what I do, if the site isn't working for you.
Until my site is back up again, here are some useful links that I might have mentioned in my replies to you guys, these should help!
For people that have problems with reality checks - http://amzn.to/2c4LgQ1
For people who KNOW how to lucid dream but want to learn more advanced stuff - http://amzn.to/2bAteEy
My dream journal (That I highly recommend, it's made specially for lucid dreamers) - http://amzn.to/2bNJwHI
For beginners just wanting to get started with lucid dreaming - http://bit.ly/2bzt1BO
Thanks for all the great questions guys!
You said 6 hospitals took you up on your offer, which ones?
Yeah, so, uh, how do you do it?
There are actually 7 now, I should update that! 2 in Texas, 2 in Florida, 2 in South Carolina, and 1 in North Carolina. We are working on several others. A lot of hospitals have chosen to do press releases that they have the product and we plan to post and update a list on our website soon.
It comes down to 3 main things.
1 - Start writing your dreams down every morning in a journal, and after a few weeks you'll see 'dream signs'. You can use these to realise you're dreaming.
2 - Practice 'reality checks' throughout the day. This is where you 'test' your reality by doing something that has DIFFERENT results in waking life compared to the dream.
An example is trying to push your finger through the palm of your hand. In waking life this won't happen but in a dream it will. Do it enough during the day and it will filter through to your dreams and you'll suddenly know you're dreaming.
3 - Meditate. Being self aware is key to this, and most of the time we're sort of in 'auto pilot' during the day. This means when we dream we're not aware of it because we're so used to being absent minded. Meditating helps with this.
And then you could try various techniques like the wake back to bed, which involves waking up in the early hours of the morning, during your REM (Rapid eye movement) stage of sleep which is where dreams are most vivid. You then go back to sleep with the intention of keeping your MIND awake during the dream.
I actually did a pharma project in college where we developed a plan for a drug that treated PAM.
Do you mind giving a high-level overview of the drug's mechanism of action? I'm curious to see how close we got. I'll also share the presentation if I can dig it up...
Any time I become lucid, and realize I'm dreaming I wake up almost instantly. Are there ways to avoid the shocking myself awake with the realization that I know I am dreaming?
I would love to see the presentation!
While there are many theories on the mechanism of action, the true mechanism of action is still unknown actually. Lipid metabolism and cell wall maintenance have been indicated as possibilities.
That's a VERY common problem for lots of people.
In a way, you've got to be able to be ENGAGED with the dream and aware, but at the same time slightly detached so that you don't get all excited and too emotional in the lucid dream.
Meditation helps LOADS with this, as it teaches you to be able to observe your feelings and thoughts instead of being caught up in them and all excited. Practice that every day.
Also, this just does come with practice. The more you lucid dream, the less you'll panic or wake yourself up. You sort of get used to it and learn to stay in the dream for longer and longer.
We recently had a 10 year old girl die of this horrible infection here in SC. According to our local newspapers she was given the medication you speak of. Is that true?
Is it helpful to meditate on recurring thoughts and themes (of recent dreams) prior to going to sleep?
Yes it is. We got the call at 10pm, there were no flights available until the next morning. We had to wait, about an hour, for a courier to come pick up the drug and then it took about 7 hours to drive to South Carolina. Unfortunately by the time the drug made it, it was too late. I was personally devastated. That hospital now carries Impavido with our consignment program.
It can be, yes. For example, if you want to create a PARTICULAR dream scene, you should meditate and visualize the scene or place you want to dream about.
Or, you could enter a lucid dream and just 'expect' that you'll arrive at your chosen scene by opening a door or something like that.
Though probably nothing compared to the high probability of death if the drugs aren't taken, what are the side effects or any long lasting heath effects from the 28 day regimen?
Could you explain your comment "reconnect with lost relatives or friends" with more detail? Through meditation and dreams I have recurring memories of a passed grandmother.
There are no long lasting side effects. There are minor side effects which are reversible, the major side effect being Nausea- which in most cases can be managed. more information can be found at www.Impavido.com
In a lucid dream, you're able to visit people you have a memory of. It's your recreation of them in your dream. You can interact with them, and they'll react in the way that you'd expect them to, based on your memories with them.
Hello. I work on the packaging side of the industry and I'm curious about what type of packaging you decided to use for your product and why. So, after the drug is manufactured what did you and your team use as a packaging solution? Why? I see you use LDPE dropping bottles for your nasal sprays.
What if you don't remember your dreams?
We use Aluminum foil blister packs for this product, it is the industry standard for this drug worldwide and we saw no reason to change it. If you know our bottle and pump, you already know we use high quality materials and know we don't cut corners.
Also, me and my daughter worked together to design the box!
You need to practice! Start writing them down every morning, and telling yourself: 'I will remember my dreams'.
What a great contribution to medical science. Thanks for you and your company's hard work. Not to derail the conversation at hand, but there certainly is a stigma about "big pharma" in today's politics, especially in American politics. What are your thoughts on that issue?
What's the down side of lucid dreaming? Will I be able to enjoy the story side of dreams ever again?
I have worked for big pharma and generally speaking, most people are in it for the right reason. However, the mega mergers of pharmaceutical companies has created abnormal market conditions around competitiveness. While not big pharma, Martin Shkreli for example took advantage of a system for personal gain, which I don't believe is ethical.
It's one of those things that you can CHOOSE to do. It's like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it but you choose whether to walk or ride your bike.
It's sort of like that. If you want to have a normal dream, you can.
It seams you are having trouble stocking Hospitals can distrubution centers ie, Amazon, Walmart store the drug through out America?
I've never practised but I lucid dream naturally sometimes and when I realise that I am dreaming I try to fly but it only turns into a big jump then I fall back down and the dream starts tearing apart (like black tears in space) and I wake up.
How do I control that more?
The problem is not "how fast can you ship" it is "how fast can you dispense". We can ship anywhere over night. the CDC can ship anything within 9 hours, and neither of those are fast enough. Hospitals need to stock this product.
This is ALL about expectation. You've spent your whole life strongly believing that humans can't fly, and that gravity is real.
These powerful subconscious beliefs are what keeps you from soaring across the sky in a lucid dream. You have a deep underlying belief that you shouldn't be able to fly. gotta work on removing that belief.
I've got a ton of ways to do this in this guide - http://howtolucid.com/lucid-dreaming-superpowers/
interesting, thanks a lot.
The Amoeba is confirmed through a spinal tap. However the symptoms are: A headache, stiff neck, fever, light sensitivity, touch sensitivity, nausea. Unfortunately, these symptoms are the same as both viral and bacterial meningitis. In the case of many patients, the initial tests for Amoebas were negative and were then found to be positive. If you have ANY of these symptoms and have been around water (including slip and slides, nasal flushing) seek URGENT medical care and tell them you have been around water.
Two of them were on Miltefosine, our newly acquired drug (It’s FDA indication is for the treatment of Leishmaniasis- a rare tropical disease). Sebastian Deleon marks the 4th survivor and the 3rd on our medication.
So somebody managed to get their brain eaten by an amoeba and somehow survive without treatment?!
When I realise I am dreaming,I usually wake up shortly after not remembering anything since I made the realisation. Is this a common occurrence? How would one go on fixing this to being able to control it? Why can't I fire a gun in my dream? I pull the trigger and the gun turns into a towel.. What gives?
That case was in 1978 in California, and he wasn't diagnosed with the Amoeba until 2 years after he had recovered from it so we don't really have any information as to what happened there or how he was treated, but yeah survived and no brain damage which is remarkable!
Yes it's common. Lots of people find they wake themselves up by being too excited.
The gun thing is very much subjective. Maybe you have a deep belief that guns are bad and you could never fire one, or maybe you just like towels :)
Hello Todd,thanks for doing this AMA. I will not ask you about the PAM,but i will do ask about the Leischmania. Since i am Vet Student,i want to ask is your medicine effective in treating leischmania(sorry if i have a typo) in dogs? Best wishes :)
Hi, I have been blessed with this ability my whole life and my question is, how do nightmares work or do you have any experience in this? during a "lucid nightmare" I am fully aware its a dream but I seem to work against my self sometimes, like there are two of me, the "Other me" is making sure I cant do all the tricks I typically would to wake my self up, Usually killing my self does the trick and I wake right up, is this common or crazy ?
Yes it is! We have actually sold to vets since we have acquired rights to this product earlier this year. I am a big animal lover and am so thankful that this works on humans and pets alike!
Bonus pic of my pups: http://imgur.com/zflaLAa
Usually, 'lucid nightmares' are where you're lucid to the extent that you KNOW you're dreaming and that it's not real, BUT you're not quite all the way lucid.
You THINK you are, and that's the scary part. You THINK you're in control but really, you're just half lucid and still experiencing the nightmare, but in a more vivid and REAL way.
It can be scary, for sure.
You're right, though. A common way to end a nightmare such as this where you're sort of 'half lucid' is to just kill yourself in the dream, or try to close your eyes.
What is your response to: Drug companies don't want to find a cure to diseases. If they sold the cure, the person wouldn't need to take the medication for the rest of their life?
This happens to my wife a LOT. So she should try practicing your three steps in the top current top comment,
I don't believe in that. I believe if you do whats best for the patients and be a good person that things will work out. For Impavido (miltefosine) we treat maybe 30-40 patients per year. we lucked out in finding a cure for both Leishmaniasis and potentially the Amoeba. For our other Rhinase Nasal products, with good customer service and a product that works- patients will keep coming back. The majority of people in this industry want to help people and make a difference- not make people dependent on drugs. Of course there are the Martin Shkreli's of the world, but I don't believe that he represents the majority.
Indeed! Show her this post, or my website
Is there a plan for Profounda, Inc. to expand into other products, like an affordable epi-pen?
How did you decide to become a lucid dream expert?
we are always looking for opportunities, especially when it comes to helping people but we are not currently looking at any Epi-pen opportunities unfortunately. If you know of any, let us know! my belief is that with such price gauging going on, it will encourage other people to develop and introduce other products at a lower price.
It sort of happened by accident. I was napping in my room as a kid, and it just randomly happened. I was so freaked out that I just went on Google and didn't stop reading until I knew what it was..
Then I developed a love for it and learned everything I could.
Years later I teach it!
I guess it ties in with my love for psychology, personal development and human potential.
What prompted your company's focus on fighting such a rare affliction? A nasal spray seems like a more traditional/safe product to focus on, but why go for the amoeba?
Sounds like a dream lucid dream come true
First of all we didn't go for the Amoeba, we went for the drugs indication which was for Leishmaniasis (a rare tropical disease) because other companies were not willing to make the product available in the U.S due to the small patient population and therefore lack of significant profit. We became aware of the Amoeba effectiveness after discussing with the CDC and the Amoeba foundations. It became evident quickly that the current method of distribution was not an effective solution to helping patients survive this terrible disease. That's why I created the consignment program at no charge for the Hospitals- until the drug is used- to increase the odds of survival.
While nasal products appear to be safe there are still negative effects to steroid use. Our belief is that if a patient can get relief to their allergy and dry nose conditions without using a steroid, that's a better way to treat the patient. For us, its not always about numbers, it is about uniquely solving medical problems with unique solutions.
Indeed it was! I was fascinated by it, still am.
Does your company hire recently graduated PhDs for research, or do you prefer people coming off a post-doc? I'm hoping to jump right into industry when I finish my doctorate in a year or two and avoid remaining in academia.
did you ever experience sleep paralysis?
We are still at an evolving entrepreneurial stage and typically use consultants where needed. I suggest you target the top Biotech and Pharma Companies as the best entry point. Better yet, invent something new and start your own company.
Yes I have. I only found it scary before I knew what it was and why it happened. Now I find it kinda fun and exciting.
How long is a patient required to take Impavido to rid themselves of the amoeba?
How is it fun when you are experiencing Sleep Paralysis and can't breathe?
I start to panic and yell at myself to move any body part because I can't breathe. My eyes are fully open and I'm awake and aware but can't move or breathe.
It is a 28-day course of therapy, however the Amoeba seems to be killed within a 48-72 hour period.
You can breathe, it just feels like you can't.
I think it's for a 'just-in-case' scenario - if the treatment stopped too early, and not all of the amoeba is killed, it could gain resistance to the drug and "re-infect" the host again but this time where the drug which saved their life is no longer effective for them.
It's the same reason why if you're prescribed antibiotics for two weeks you don't stop taking them even if you feel all better again - you can't guarantee just by feeling better you've killed all of the bacteria. It's how antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming so prevalent.
It is to my understanding that dreaming serves a reflective purpose, that its something of a learning experience. I've had (sometimes reoccurring) dreams that that lead me to become aware of an issue. I also hear a lot of people talk about what something might mean psychologically for an individual if they have a certain type of dream. If I am lucid dreaming will I notice a lack of aha moments when I wake? Seems like a trade off pleasure for reflecting. I'm no psych major and know very little about the subject in general please correct me if I'm wrong about something.
Its actually not about resistance, it is because the Amoeba has multiple forms including a Cyst form that is in particular hard to eradicate. The 28 day regime actually comes from the official indication that the product is originally used for and theoretically it is possible not all 28 days are necessary for Amoeba patients. However, due to the severity of the disease it is important to ensure everything is gone.
Sort of, but it's balanced out by this -
In a lucid dream, you can LITERALLY ask the dream (which is made up of your subconscious mind) questions and it will respond with deep, profound and interesting answers.
So instead of waiting to have a dream about something that MIGHT make you say 'aha, I'm scared of cats BECAUSE such and such' you can just ASK the dream outright 'Why am I scared of cats' or 'What do I fear most'.
Do you plan on jacking up the price so only rich people can survive it?
Does smoking weed affect lucid dreaming?
Absolutely not! Our drug has been covered almost entirely by insurance companies. On average the most out of pocket anyone has paid is around $40. Because it is such a rare disease and indication (even for leishmaniasis) insurance companies pay for it. On two occassions for Leishmaniasis patients who did not have insurance, I have waived the fee entirely. I can't promise that will happen everytime, but I do what I can. I truly care about patients and their lives which is why I am offering the drug to be stored in hospitals nationwide for free.
Yes cannabis is a REM suppressor. It stops you have REM sleep and therefore limits your lucid dreaming ability.
That being said, just like alcohol, cannabis has a half life and after a few days (a lot longer than alcohol) you'll get REM rebound.
If you smoke it EVERY day, you will find it VERY hard to lucid dream.
If you smoke once a week, at the weekends for example, you'll find you have very vivid dreams come Wednesday-Thursday.
Don't be tempted by the dark side or reddit will...idk write some mean stuff about you or something
1) Could lucid dreaming become an addiction? Kinda like the people in the movie Inception (dont laugh pls)?
2) Is it possible to get more self-confidence through lucid dreaming, in terms of talking to new people, talking infront of people etc?
Sorry, I'm Canadian so we are supposed to just naturally be nice right?
I wouldn't say it's addictive, no. It's fun and safe but not addictive.
YES 100% :)
You can practice ANY situation in a lucid dream, including sex, fighting, public speaking, driving, or playing an instrument.
Hi Stefen . A few years ago I kept up with lucid dreaming fairly well, I didn't think it was gonna work but I held out hope and did my dream journal and reality check, amazingly I started having extremely vivid dreams about what I wanted, but I don't think I was in control while in the dream . What started occurring was nightmares. Extremely vivid nightmares, I woke up in sweats , and was getting little sleep if any. Do to this , I stopped the journal and everything, and went back to pretty much not dreaming.
My question(s) is, how do I not have nightmares? , and once I get to a point where my dreams are so vivid, how do start to become more conscious while in the dream .
There is no such thing as a cash price given the multiple number of people and companies who touch the product along the way. Our direct price per pack of Impavido is $16,000. However, you need to consider the alternative treatment and costs that will be required if they don't use Impavido.
One of the patients I donated to had previously been on 4 treatments of IV therapy of amphotercin each lasting 28 days. The patient was in his 80's and was becoming severely depressed about having to go through more treatments that seemed to be ineffective. The healthcare cost of treating a patient 4 times in a hospital bed exceeds $250,000 in total costs, not to mention the loss of time and pain as well as managing the side effects of the alternative treatment.
Again, insurance covers most of Impavido costs.
Well, nightmares are fairly normal. That being said, by intending to have positive dreams, you can reduce the amount of nightmares you have.
So is this why we've been hearing stories about this bug, or is global warming increasing the opportunity for this bug to thrive?
Why do you wake up when you become aware you're dreaming? If due to being too emotional or excitement, then why doesn't the same also happen during nightmares?
The Amoeba has always been present in fresh water, and we believe in the past it was under diagnosed as its symptoms are so closely aligned with that of bacterial meningitis. We believe awareness (through Kyle cares and the Jordan Smelski foundation) has launched this bug into the news and do believe that with global warming the risk is at an even greater threat.
Because it's activating a different part of your brain. Nightmares can and do happen when your conscious brain is completly shut off, but lucid dreams are actually what happens when your brain is partially awake.
If it gets too awake, it just wakes the whole body up and the dream collapses.
GREAT question though! I might make a video about this. Thanks.
How long after being infected by the amoeba will the drug be effective?
Another question that might be hard to answer since you are in the US. I was travelling in New Zealand last winter and at many of the thermal rivers and pools there where warning signs saying not to put your nose/ears under water to avoid infection, is this a warning for Naegleria fowleri?
I am not always a fan of lucid dreaming as Its something that always happens to me and I dont try to get it to happen, I find it to be a blessing and a curse in the sense that while I am awake I always know I am awake but when I am in a dream I am about 80% sure I am dreaming, this leads me to allot of stress in my dreams to the point that I dont enjoy it. Do you think there is any long term mental issues that can arise from lucid dreaming?
This patient recieved the mediaction around 30 hours after exposure. Between 48-72 hours the patient in this case, after receiving our medication (in conjunction with other medications and of course brilliant medical care)- testing showed that the Amoeba was completely absent.
The longest recorded time was 66 hours after exposure that someone survived without brain damage. But I wouldn't recommend waiting that long!
In regards to the sign you saw, I would say that it is very likely they were warning about the Amoeba. It is very common in warm waters and you get infected by infested waters traveling up your nose, but of course there can be a number of other infections the signs can be warning about- so i can't say for sure. For Naegleria Fowleri, it is recommended to keep your head out of the water, wear a nose plug, or stay out all together. While we may have hope for a cure now, it is still extremely dangerous to contract.
I think if anything, it can be used to help and fix mental issues, rather than cause them. It can be used to treat and sooth PTSD, for example.
Hey, i have 4 questions i would love you to answer.
Is it possible, with practice of course, to lucid dream every single night?
In your experience, does time go slower in dreams?
How long was your longest lucid dream?
How many lucid dreams have you had in total?
I have never tried pepper jelly at all, do you recommend it?
You can but it's more of a every other night thing. Or every few days.
You can change your PERCEPTION of time yes.
Longest lucid dream probably about 12 minutes but it felt a lot longer. I'm not sure exactly how long it was, I wasn't tracking it or timing it.
I've lost count by now!
What's the most frustrating component for you regarding Clinical Trials? How would you make that challenge less difficult?
I Lucid dream almost every night without any prompting and can remember me dreams vividly. I have no prior experience in Lucid dreaming, I didn't take a self help course or anything like that. It started when I was about 13? maybe younger. It almost feels like there is a switch a can flip that I'll just ride the dream like a roller coaster but I can always get off and change it or do whatever it is I want.
Is this common? Or out of the ordinary to just be able to Lucid dream without any prior preparation or training?
The bureaucracy. The sheer amount of paper work, money, man hours and the hoops you have to jump through make it difficult for drugs that have the potential to really help unable to get their foot in the door.
You're one of the lucky few.
Most people find it hard to learn, and have to really practice for weeks and sometimes months. Congratulations!
What stops a company like your from undercutting another company says Mylan for instance, by flooding the market with a cheaper variant of their epipen auto injectors?
So I am special snowflake after all! Haha
First of all Mylan is primarily a generic company and they understand as well as anyone how the generic market works. There is nothing other than technology, intellectual property and manufacturing capability to stop someone from coming up with a cheaper version. In the generic market, having a portfolio of generic products allows large generic companies to have the ability to price below cost on certain SKUs and therefore a small company with only one generic is vulnerable to losing market share and therefore profits.
Indeed! You'd love some of my advanced articles if you wanna take things to the next level - http://howtolucid.com/advanced-lucid-dreaming/
What are your thoughts on the recent and not so recent price-hikes of lifesaving medicine?
I once read up on something called "Astral Projection", which to me is totally bogus. Now I'll start by saying that I'm pretty sure Astral Projection is just lucid dreaming.
I've tried it before. I've laid still in my bed, in the dark, no noise or distractions, etc. I started to feel numb, and like I was falling and spinning slowly. It then got very black and I panicked and woke up.
Is this a form of entering a lucid dream?
I think it is unethical. plain and simple. I have answered this in a few ways throughout the thread if you want a more in depth answer.
I'm a lucid dreaming expert, Astral projection is very much a debatable subject. Astral travelers claim they can visit a specific place where they meet and interact with other travelers.
This has never been proven, in anyway. Lucid dreaming however, has.
I'm probably too late, but it's worth a shot:
Are you good friends with the 4 people you have saved so far?
And on another hand, how well do you think Profounda Inc will do in the near future?
Why would I need lucid dreaming in my life? I feel like I am dreaming just fine, and lucid dreaming would keep me from getting the rest my mind needs, because it's busy all night controlling my dreams. Does lucid dreaming have benefits over just normal dreaming?
We have just recently met the parents of Sebastian Deleon, it was a very emotional meeting with lots of hugs. We do not know the families of the other survivors as we have only just acquired the rights to the drug earlier this year. However, we have established friendships with both Jeremy Lewis and Steve Smelski who have lost their children to this horrible disease and we will continue to work with them to raise awareness.
Some people prefer to not lucid dream, and that's fine! I guess for me, it's about this;
We're gonna dream and sleep every night anyway, so why not make it more interesting? Especially when you can improve REAL life skills by practicing them in a lucid dream, as well as experience AWESOME things.
I know you just sell the drug and aren't necessarily an expert on the amoeba, but maybe you are.
I used to really enjoy open water swimming for exercise (2-4 miles at a time) in FL lakes, but stopped a few years ago when I learned of the organism. I know you can protect yourself with nose clips, but that isn't conducive to elite swimming form. Is it safe to swim in the water considering you are only breathing out into the lake? Is there anything else you can do to protect yourself?
The Amoeba is found in most bodies of fresh water and water about 72 degrees F and above. While we may not be doctors we definitely have spent a lot of time researching PAM, I wouldn't recommend swimming in fresh body water. If you do go swimming, use a nose plug, and the most important thing is to watch out for and recognize the symptoms. Do not wait to go to the hospital and make sure you inform them you have been in fresh bodied water.